Live comfortably… and save!
Changing old bad habits to healthier ones can help you cut down on expenses
Have you ever tried to make an estimate of your yearly household expenses? Could you ever believe you can cut them down by 15% just changing some old bad habits? Don’t worry; you don’t have to renounce comfort! You just have to perform some simple clever actions that won’t cost you one euro. It might seem challenging, but it’s easier than you think! Here are some suggestions:
- Choose energy saving light bulbs;
- Read the user’s manual of your fridge, washing machine and dish washer to learn more about their energy consumption;
- Let radiators send out a pleasant warmth in the room. Don’t hinder air circulation around them: radiator covers reduce heating efficiency by 40%;
- Keep radiators clean and free from dust and grime that may accumulate over time from daily living;
- Use energy only when you really need it: keep a 20° temperature by day and 16-18° by night (you will warm yourself with blankets);
- Run your dishwasher on a full load only once in a day, as half-load programmes use more than half the amount of water of a full load;
- Use your washing machine with low-temperature programmes, as detergents contain surface-active agents that work already at a 40° temperature;
- When you cook, use lids: a 3-litre pan of water takes ten minutes to boil with its lid on it and 13 minutes without it;
- The fridge wastes energy every time you open the door, as cold “escapes” quickly. Try to fill it as much as possible to take advantage of the thermal inertia of food and avoid sudden changes of temperature;
- Switch off light bulbs if you’re not staying in a room. Every now and then, dust them: a dusty bulb gives out less light (- 20%);
- Disconnect the plug of your TV, home theatre and players: the red stand-by light costs about 50 euros per year.
With a little investment, you can increase the energy efficiency of your house thanks to home automation technologies. Your savings can rise up to 25% by installing thermostatic radiator valves and radiator-insulating panels with heat reflective properties; by cooking with pressure cookers and by using led light bulbs that use 95% less of the energy used by incandescent bulbs. Philips has launched Led Hue bulbs that can be screwed in common bulb sockets and have a Wi-Fi connection to the internet that allows a remote control of illumination (via iPhone or Web). Belkin produces WeMo modules, which are equipped with movement sensors that can be put on any socket and allow switching on and off home appliances and lamps by means of an app.
Is there anything else you can do to save energy and cut bills? You could change old appliances (fridges, washing machines, air conditioners or dishwashers) with new more energy-efficient ones. You could also choose highly-insulating double-glazed PVC doors and windows. Remember to shade the engine of your air conditioner, too. If you have independent heating, you might change a radiator with a pellet stove that allows reducing the cost of heating by 50%.
Main source: FocusMagazine